Understanding Non-Work-Related Alternatives To Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a relatively common medical condition affecting up to 6 percent of American adults. This condition occurs when the medial nerve is pinched, compressed or damaged in its passage through the carpal tunnel, a passageway through the wrist bones. Historically, carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with injuries occurring as a result of repetitive workplace activities. However, recent research has cast doubt on whether performing repetitive work, such as typing or using hand-operated tools, is a significant risk factor. That makes ruling out other possible causes of carpal tunnel syndrome important; below are a few of the non-work-related alternatives:

Medical conditions

A variety of medical problems can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, including kidney and thyroid disease. In addition, other chronic medical issues, such as being overweight, are also linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. Arthritis that is associated with inflammation is a strong risk factor carpal tunnel syndrome, as well. If a claimant has experienced any significant health problems, then it will need to be demonstrated that these concerns are not a direct cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Serious injuries

Significant wrist injuries are also linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. Fractures of the bones in the wrist can reduce the space surrounding the affected nerve, leading to irritation and inflammation caused by compression. A prior history of injuries of the hand, wrist or forearm may hinder a claimant's efforts to obtain financial relief under worker's compensation.


Pregnancy is a prime cause of water retention, and this reduction in space surrounding the affected nerves may cause symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. While these symptoms will usually go away at the end of the pregnancy, there is a possibility that workplace-induced carpal tunnel syndrome can be confused with pregnancy causes. Clarifying the origin of the carpal tunnel syndrome can be tricky, and it often requires strong documentation and medical evaluation as a result.


The incidence of women who experience carpal tunnel syndrome is higher than that of men. Historically, since many women have been involved in clerical occupations involving intensive hand-based work, such as typing, some may assume this type of work is the reason for the gender difference. However, this is most likely due to the reduced size in the wrist bones where nerves pass. A narrow passage does not provide much margin for error, and even a small amount of nerve irritation can lead to obstruction by the surrounding bone.

For more information, contact MHK Attorneys or a similar firm.